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American Eagle is Shooting For $29.5M From 1st Offering

WASHINGTON -- American Eagle Outfitters Inc., Warrendale, Pa., operator of 167 casual apparel stores in 34 states, plans to raise $29.5 million in an initial public offering, according to a registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange...

WASHINGTON — American Eagle Outfitters Inc., Warrendale, Pa., operator of 167 casual apparel stores in 34 states, plans to raise $29.5 million in an initial public offering, according to a registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company plans to sell 2.3 million shares at an estimated $14 a share.

American Eagle made it into the black in fiscal 1993 after two years of significant losses. Pretax income in fiscal 1993 totaled $6.4 million compared with losses of $9.2 million in fiscal 1992 and $8.9 million in fiscal 1991.

Sales reached $168 million in 1993 compared to $157 million in 1992 and $144.3 million in 1991.

The turnaround in performance came after Jay Schottenstein, American Eagle’s chairman and chief executive officer, and members of his family took full control of the company in March 1991, the filing said.

The Schottensteins installed Sam Forman, who had been chief executive officer of the Kuppenheimer Clothiers Division of Hartmarx Corp., to carry out the turnaround plan.

Upon completion of the offering, the Schottenstein family will hold a 59.4 percent stake in the company.

The new business strategy included increasing initial markups through more direct sourcing and aggressive renegotiation of relationships with vendors; improving margins by increasing private label merchandise; reducing inventory through better inventory planning, and setting up outlet stores to move out-of-season merchandise.

Men’s wear and unisex items, such as T-shirts and sweatshirts, made up 60 percent of American Eagle’s sales in fiscal 1993. Women’s apparel accounted for 18 percent, footwear 12 percent, outerwear 8 percent and accessories 2 percent. Private label merchandise accounted for 82 percent of sales in fiscal 1993.

About $7.4 million of the offering’s proceeds is slated to reimburse the Schottenstein family for debt incurred in their 1991 acquisition; $10.8 million will be used to open, acquire and refurbish stores; $3 million will finance merchandise-handling equipment for the company’s distribution center, and $8.2 million will go for inventory for new stores, working capital and general corporate needs. The company plans to open 115 new stores through fiscal 1995.

Beginning this year, Schottenstein is receiving a $250,000 annual salary while working for American Eagle “only as much of his business time…as he deems necessary, which is not anticipated to be more than 50 percent of his business time on an annual basis.”

Forman has signed an employment agreement granting him a $400,000 annual salary. The agreement expires July 31, 1996 and automatically renews for one-year terms barring termination by either party. Roger S. Markfield, executive vice president, merchandising, also has signed an employment agreement for $270,000 per year in salary, an annual bonus of $40,500, and at least $500,000 of restricted stock.

The offering will be underwritten by Dean Witter Reynolds Inc., Alex Brown & Sons Inc. and Oppenheimer & Co.